I think I'm going to start a new category called classroom snippets. The title will make them easy to look for or skip over as desired. For former students, they might bring back memories. For prospective students and outsiders, they will give you a small snapshot of just one prof at IWU.
My choice today (don't worry... I'm not necessarily planning on doing this every day) is 1 Corinthians 10, very relevant of course to our recent discussion. We started by looking back at 9:24-27. We remembered that there were no chapter divisions when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians. I argued that, in my opinion, the section that begins at 9:1 goes through 10:13.
At the beginning of the course, I gave the students a choice of reading through Craig Blomberg's commentary (NIV Application Commentary) or mine in conjunction with the class. Blomberg of course is a Calvinist and writes of 9:27: "Paul says God will 'test' (dokimasei; v.13) believers' works and give out corresponding praise or censure... But neither one's salvation nor eternal status in heaven is at stake" (185).
But of course we continued to read into 1 Corinthians 10, where Paul compares believers to Israel on their journey to Canaan. The similarity to Hebrews 3 is striking and I suggested that the author of Hebrews drew the picture either from 1 Corinthians or from being around Paul himself and his preaching.
Here Paul likens passing through the Red Sea as baptism, the visible Christian initiatory rite. The most natural way of taking this imagery is thus that the people Paul is talking about are Christians. For eternal securitists in the class I suggested they might want to argue that these individuals were only baptized, not truly converted.
But of course Paul warns that most of these "baptized" Israelites of the story were struck down in the desert. The allegory Paul is constructing here is pretty clear. Some of the Israelites were idolatrous; some of the Corinthians are wanting to eat at idol's temples. Some of the Israelites were sexually immoral; some of the Corinthians are being sexually immoral. Some of the Israelities grumbled; some of the Corinthians were protesting Paul's apostleship.
We should hear an echo of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 here: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God... neither ... will inherit the kingdom of God." Paul is thus warning the Corinthians that some of their behavior is putting their inheritance in danger.
A snippet from one of my classes on Tuesday.